I tried this on Friday, but my OP apparently lost its way in cyberspace. I’m trying again. I can be persistent at times.
Thursday’s Washington Post had a rather lengthy op-ed piece by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. I’m not sure why they gave him nearly half their op-ed page to share the same old blather with their readers, but since they did, I’ve got a few questions about that blather - some sincere, and some dripping with sarcasm, but (IMHO) no less intellectually valid. Here goes:
A plan??? There’s a plan??? You folks keep saying you have one, but supporting evidence is extremely hard to come by.
Do you have any intention of sharing this plan with the American people, or is it one of these “if I told you, I’d have to kill you” things?
Who predicted failure? I’m sure somebody did, but was it anyone with any credibility?
Seriously, Don: the most pessimistic predictions I heard, during that week or so that our troops were held up at the Karbala Gap, were that combat operations might drag on into summer. So please: produce the names of these persons who said we’d fail to dislodge Saddam from power, the dates that they said it, and the words by which they did so.
Because I think you’re bullshitting us. Again.
Don, are you disputing the accuracy of the news out of Afghanistan, or are you coming up with a new definition of ‘success’ with which we haven’t previously been acquainted?
Last I heard, Karzai’s government controlled little besides Kabul. Warlords and drug lords run the rest of the country. (If you recall, popular unhappiness with rule by these sorts was what gave rise to the Taliban to begin with.) Opium growing is the big business these days in Afghanistan.
And since your boss is big on the treatment of women by regimes he doesn’t like, I feel compelled to mention that, though women are no longer legally required to wear the burqa in public, they do so anyway out of fear of the consequences.
What part of this is not true?
When Bremer makes the decision that state-owned businesses are to be privatized, and unlimited foreign investment will be allowed in most economic sectors - both decisions being extremely hard to undo once in effect, btw - how does this not constitute running Iraq, but rather waiting to let the Iraqis make their own decisions about how their country is to be run?
As you say later, in reference to another matter:
You have funny ideas about what it means for them to ‘build their own nation’, that’s all I can say.
I’m not disagreeing here. But was that wise? I’d like to point out that that meant we didn’t have troops on the ground to secure prospective WMD sites from looters, once we’d liberated them from Saddam’s forces.
We are truly lucky that Saddam apparently wasn’t keeping any WMDs. Otherwise, they would surely be in the hands of terrorists by now - solely due to the manner in which you prosecuted the war.
For this reason, I have to believe it wasn’t just a matter of luck - that you and your cabal knew all along that the infamous WMDs, your casus belli for invading Iraq, didn’t exist, and you were bullshitting Congress, the UN, and the American people all along. That, I’m afraid, is the most charitable interpretation available.
There’s more where that came from, Don. You talk about how all major Iraqi cities, and most smaller towns, had municipal councils within two months after combat ceased. I’m not sure what this means, because I honestly have no idea what these councils possess in the way of power, authority, resources, and freedom to act as they see fit. You speak of Iraqis already “serving local, regional and national governing institutions, signing up to serve as police, border guards, soldiers and civil defense forces, starting businesses, creating jobs and building a new nation” as if they were already all but completely running their country; such phraseology makes it sound as if we could pack up and leave in another few weeks, and they’d do fine by themselves.
You know and I know that imagery is completely misleading, and so does the rest of the world. So why are you painting these pictures? Help me out here, because I’m clueless.